Obama tackles veteran homelessness

Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBooker dismisses early surveys: 'If you're polling ahead right now, you should worry' Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy Mattis dodges toughest question MORE (D-Ill.) used a campaign stop in New Hampshire Monday to tout a program aimed at helping homeless veterans.

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“Our commitment to those who serve begins at enlistment and it must never end,” Obama said on Veterans Day at a transitional housing facility in Nashua. “That is a sacred trust. It is a trust we must keep. But every night that a veteran sleeps on the street, we are not keeping that trust.”

Last week, the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a study showing that nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night. The group also stated that veterans represent 26 percent of homeless people, even though they only make up 11 percent of the adult civilian population.

“Our veterans are a part of an unbroken line of Americans who have borne the greatest burden for our freedom,” Obama said, adding, “Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value and a cornerstone of American patriotism.”

The senator has introduced legislation that would help homeless veterans and their families find a place to live while also helping them find work and providing them with counseling and other services.

Obama, who is running in second place behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) in the race for the Democratic nomination, also announced that he had launched a committee to help his campaign with veterans’ issues.

The committee consists of Obama supporters, including several members of Congress who have endorsed him, and will also try to build a “grassroots network of support in the veteran’s community in key primary states and in communities with large veteran’s populations across the country,” according to the campaign.

“After seven years of an administration that has stretched our military to the breaking point, ignored deplorable conditions at some VA hospitals and neglected the planning and preparation necessary to care for our returning heroes, America’s veterans deserve a president who will fight for them not just when it’s easy or convenient, but every hour of every day for the next four years,” Obama said.